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Manufacturing in Australia

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Title: Manufacturing in Australia  
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Subject: Economy of Australia, Australian government debt, Energy in Australia, Tourism in Australia, Agriculture in Australia
Collection: Manufacturing in Australia
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Manufacturing in Australia

Adults employed in the manufacturing industry as a percentage of the adult population in Australia divided geographically by statistical local area, as of the 2011 census

Manufacturing in Australia peaked in the 1960s at 25% of the country's gross domestic product, and has since dropped below 10%.


  • History 1
  • Food processing 2
  • Textile industry 3
  • Motor vehicles 4
  • Chemical industry 5
  • Companies with manufacturing facilities in Australia 6
  • Companies that no longer manufacture in Australia 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9


Quarterly gross operating profits ($millions) in the manufacturing industry since 1994
Australia's export price help manufactured goods since 1990.
Australia's import price index for manufactured goods since 1981.

The contribution of manufacturing to Australia's gross domestic product peaked in the 1960s at 25%, and had dropped to 13% by 2001–2[1] and 10.5% by 2005–6.[2] In 2004–05, the manufacturing industry exported products worth $67,400 million, and employed 1.1 million people[3]

In 2000–2001, $3300 million was spent on assistance to the manufacturing industry, with 40% going to the textile, clothing and footwear industry and the passenger motor vehicle industry.[4] At that time, manufacturing accounted for 48% of exports, and 45% of Australian research and development.[1]

In 2007, the breakdown of manufacturing by state, and the fraction of gross state product (GSP) which it contributed, were as follows:[5]

State Percentage of national manufacturing Percentage of GSP
New South Wales 32 10
Victoria 28 12
Queensland 17 9
South Australia 8 13
Western Australia 10 8
Tasmania 3 13
Northern Territory 1 7
Australian Capital Territory 0.5 2

Between 2001 and 2007, the approximate breakdown by industry changed as follows: [5]

Industry Percent in 2001 Percent in 2007
Food, beverages and tobacco 19 19
Textile, clothing and footwear 5 3
Wood and paper products 7 6
Printing, publishing and recorded media 10 10
Petroleum, coal and chemical products 15 14
Non-metal mineral products 4 5
Metal products 18 19
Machinery and equipment 17 19
Other manufacturing 4 4

Food processing

The food and beverage manufacturing industry is the largest in Australia. The sectors include the following:[6]

Sector Turnover(2005–06, $millions)
Meat and meat products 17,836
Beverage and malt manufacturing 13,289
Dairy products 9,991
Sugar and confectionery manufacturing 6,456
Fruit and vegetable processing 4,672
Bakery products 4,005
Flour mill and cereal food manufacturing 3,692
Oil and fat manufacturing 1,547
Seafood processing 1,330 *
Other food manufacturing 8,554
Total 71,372

* Before the 2010 closure of the Port Lincoln Tuna cannery

Textile industry

Until trade liberalisation in the mid 1980s, Australia had a large textile industry. This decline continued through the first decade of the 21st century.[5] Since the 1980s, tariffs have steadily been reduced; in early 2010, the tariffs were reduced from 17.5 percent to 10percent on clothing, and 7.5–10% to 5% for footwear and other textiles.[7] As of 2010, most textile manufacturing, even by Australian companies, is performed in China.

Motor vehicles

As of 2012, four companies manufacture cars in Australia: GM-Holden, Ford, Toyota and Tomcar.[8] Mitsubishi Motors Australia ceased production in March 2008.

Holden bodyworks are manufactured at Elizabeth, South Australia and engines are produced at the Fishermens Bend plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria. In 2006, Holden's export revenue was just under A$1,300 million.[9] In March 2012, Holden was given a $270 million lifeline by the Australian government. In return, Holden planned to inject over $1 billion into car manufacturing in Australia. They estimated the new investment package would return around $4 billion to the Australian economy and see GM Holden continue making cars in Australia until at least 2022.[10] However, Holden announced on 11 December 2013 that Holden cars would no longer be manufactured in Australia from the end of 2017.[11]

Ford has two main factories, both in Victoria: located in the Geelong suburb of Norlane and the northern Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows. Both plants will be closed in October 2016.

Until 2006, Toyota had factories in Port Melbourne and Altona, Victoria. Since then, all manufacturing has been at Altona. In 2008, Toyota exported 101,668 vehicles worth $1,900 million.[12] In 2011 the figures were "59,949 units worth $1,004 million".[13] On 10 February 2014 it was announced that by the end of 2017 Toyota would cease manufacturing vehicles and engines in Australia.[14]

In March 2012, a new Australian auto maker, Tomcar, announced they are to build a new factory in Melbourne.[8]

Chemical industry

Quarterly sales by Australian manufacturing businesses of basic chemicals and chemical products ($A millions) since 1985
Total employment in basic chemicals and chemical product manufacturing in Australia (thousands of people) since 1984

Australia has a chemical industry, including the manufacture of many petrochemicals.[15]

Many mining companies, such as BHP Billiton and Comalco, perform initial processing of raw materials.[16] Similarly, Australia's agriculture feeds into the chemical industry. Tasmania produces 40% of the worlds raw narcotic materials;[17] some of this is locally converted into codeine and other pharmaceuticals in Tasmania by Tasmanian Alkaloids, owned by Johnson and Johnson, while GlaxoSmithKline processes some of the resulting poppy straw in Victoria.

Companies with manufacturing facilities in Australia

An unfinished list of companies that operate a manufacturing facilities in Australia. And the products they produce in the nation.



Companies that no longer manufacture in Australia

Companies that closed down, or moved manufacturing offshore.

Australian Owned:


See also


  1. ^ a b Productivity Commission (2004). Trends in Australian Manufacturing. 
  2. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (7 February 2008). "1309.0 – Australia at a Glance, 2008". Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Advanced Manufacturing". Australian Government. Austrade. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Australian Manufacturing: A Brief History of Industry Policy and Trade Liberalisation". Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "Australian manufacturing—structural trends 2001–02 to 2006–07". 24 November 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "About Australia: Food Industry". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Peter Anderson (1 January 2010). "ACCI Welcomes textiles and car tariff cuts (ACCI media release 003/10)". Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Hassall, David (12 April 2012). "Tomcar - New local vehicle manufacturer". GoAuto. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Vehicle Exports". GM Holden. Retrieved 23 August 2008. 
  10. ^ "Holden To Stay After Government Promises $270 Million Assistance". Australian Manufacturing. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "South Australia stunned as GM announces Holden's closure in Adelaide in 2017". GM Holden. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Exports-2008". Toyota Australia. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "Exports-2011". Toyota Australia. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  14. ^ Dunckley, Mathew (10 February 2014). "Toyota confirms exit from Australian manufacturing in 2017". Port Macquarie News ( Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Australia's chemical industry". Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  16. ^ "Chemicals in Australia". Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  17. ^ "Brand Tasmania". Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
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